eSport and Mainstream SponsorshipOct 18, 2021
You may not realize it, but even if you’re not an esports enthusiast yourself, you’ve probably heard of some of the biggest esports teams out there, such as Team SoloMid and Cloud9. As competition in this burgeoning sport increases, the sponsorship of these teams is growing more lucrative and diverse, especially for mainstream brands looking to tap into the millennial demographic. Here’s a brief look at how esports sponsorship has changed over the years and where it’s headed in the future.
1) Is this good for esports?
A lot of things have changed for esports over the last ten years, but one thing that has remained fairly constant is sponsorship. Back in 2011, energy drinks were where it was at, with Monster Energy sponsoring both Team EG and Team Curse during League of Legends' first season. Today, though? It's all about mainstream sponsorships.
2) What does this mean for esports teams?
It’s a natural progression for esports to be becoming recognized as a serious market. After all, one only needs to look at its viewer numbers and prize pools to see that there is something growing in popularity here. As such, it only makes sense that marketers would want to tap into these demographics with their products and services. But why now? Why at all? The answer lies in three key things: mobile gaming, social media and technology.
3) Why is this happening?
The biggest reason is that non-endemic companies want to get in on one of the fastest growing markets in not just esports, but in media in general. Global advertising spend is expected to top $652 billion by 2020, according to eMarketer, and over-the-top (OTT) platforms will account for 36% of all ad dollars spent online. And when it comes to OTT streaming video providers, Twitch dominates with 1.7 million broadcasters producing 45 billion minutes of video each month. While Amazon paid around $1 billion for Twitch back in 2014 (Twitch is a subsidiary of Amazon), it looks like esports has established itself as a worthwhile investment opportunity.